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Auto insurance protects drivers from paying out-of-pocket if they are in an accident and have to pay for their own or other people’s damages (injuries and financial losses). Likewise, injured parties can pursue compensation via an at-fault driver’s insurer if the person who caused their accident was negligent.
If you or your loved one suffered injuries in a car accident, an attorney can help you seek compensation for losses covered by your own or the at-fault party’s insurance. However, it may be difficult to start the process if you’re a little fuzzy on the details of car insurance basics. We can help provide a foundation for your auto insurance policy information.
Liability Insurance Is Mandatory in Georgia
According to the Georgia Office of Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner, all Georgia drivers must insure their vehicles with a minimum of:
- $25,000 in bodily injury liability per injured person
- $50,000 per accident
- $25,000 in property damage liability.
If you are legally at fault for a collision, these policies pay for the other party’s medical expenses, property damage, and other losses.
What if the Damage Exceeds the Policy Limits?
The amount of money your insurance company will pay depends on your policy’s limits. So, for example, if you carry only the minimum coverage, your insurer will pay each injured party up to $25,000 – but not more than $50,000 for all injuries combined. If the injured party’s damages exceed your coverage limits, they may seek additional compensation with a lawsuit.
For a free legal consultation, call 404-214-2001
You Can Add Optional Coverage to Your Auto Insurance Policy
As mentioned, all motorists are legally required to carry a minimum amount of liability insurance. However, you can pay to increase your liability coverage or add policies that protect you in other circumstances. Here is a basic explanation of optional auto insurance policies:
- Medical payments (“med pay”). Med pay compensates for injuries to the covered driver and their passengers, regardless of who is liable for the collision but also protects you if you are the victim of a pedestrian or bicycle accident. It supplements your health insurance but does not require a copay or deductible. This policy will cover medical treatment, dental care, and funeral expenses.
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage. You can add UM/UIM coverage for bodily injuries and property damage. These policies protect you from injuries or vehicle damage caused by uninsured drivers or drivers without enough insurance to cover all of your losses. UM/UIM also pays for accidents caused by hit-and-run drivers.
- Collision coverage. This policy pays for damages to your vehicle, no matter who is at fault. So, even if you are liable for an accident, collision insurance will pay to fix your car or compensate for its fair market value if the damage amounts to a total loss. Without this coverage, you may get stuck paying out-of-pocket for repairs if you cause a crash.
- Comprehensive coverage. Comprehensive insurance pays for vehicle damages caused by something other than a crash, such as theft, vandalism, fire, flooding, and hail. It will also pay for damages caused by a tree or limb falling on your car.
In general, your liability coverage and additional policies will pay for accidents involving you or other drivers listed on your policy, such as your spouse or children. Coverage usually also extends to drivers you allow to borrow your car (however, if they do so regularly, they should be included in your policy). Your insurance will still cover you if you are in an accident in another state.
You Can Seek Compensation for Auto Accident Damages
A lawyer with our firm can help you file an insurance claim and negotiate a fair settlement with your insurer for your covered losses. If your accident was not your fault, we can pursue compensation from the responsible driver with a claim against their liability insurance. We can also help you recover damages with a lawsuit if necessary.
Recoverable car accident compensation may include:
- Ambulance transportation and emergency treatment
- Doctor and hospital fees
- Medical procedures
- Mobility aids
- Physical therapy
- Long-term nursing care
- Lost wages, benefits, and earnings
- Lost earning capacity
- Vehicle and personal property damage
- Physical pain
- Mental and emotional suffering
- Scarring, disfigurement, and permanent and disabling injuries
- Reduced quality of life
You Have A Limited Time To File a Car Accident Lawsuit
If you are only filing an insurance claim, you will have to abide by the deadline your insurer sets.
However, if you need to file a lawsuit, it’s important to get started before Georgia’s statute of limitations expires. An expired statute will likely bar you from taking action in court and reduce your insurance bargaining power, possibly resulting in a denied payment or reduced settlement.
According to O.C.G.A § 9-3-33, you have up to two years to file a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit. The clock starts at the time of injury or your loved one’s passing. We can help you get started before time runs out.
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Contact Kaine Law for More Information
Contact Kaine Law today to learn more about seeking compensation through your auto insurance policy or a claim against a liable driver. Free consultations. 24/7 support.